“He was a young man in his 20s counting his money,” Lazenby said.
Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, has changed since then, said Lazenby.
Jordan and his Jordan Brand company pledged $100 million in June to organizations dedicated to racial equality and social justice.
“As he aged, he became more involved and put his money behind all kinds of not just political initiatives but community initiatives,” Lazenby said.
Lazenby has also written biographies about Jerry West, Phil Jackson and the late Kobe Bryant, as well as books about the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.
He used to be a regular at NBA games while covering Jordan’s Bulls and Bryant’s Lakers.
“Athletes have changed [since then],” Lazenby said. “Their understanding of their role and the power they have … has changed dramatically for the African American athlete.
“Trying to apply some of the leverage they have, … that was only sporadically a consideration in previous generations. Obviously we had African American athletes protest, but now to have an entire league agree to step aside, … this is an exploration of the new age of player power.”
The biggest current star in the NBA is LeBron James, who has become an outspoken activist.